Otherworldly Videos: Danger Word+HowDoYouSayYamInAfrican+Old Money+Tiombe


Here is the Web premiere of the short film Danger Word, directed by Luchina Fisher and starring Frankie Faison and Saoirse Scott. The film, which is based on Devil’s Wake from Tananarive Due and Steven Barnes, follows a 13-year-old girl and her grandfather in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. If you enjoy zombie shows and films, like The Walking Dead and The Night of the Living Dead, this is a nice addition, mainly because 1) the lead characters are not the stereotypical ones — a young black girl and an older black man, 2) the zombies develop a trait that gives a an interesting twist to how would living humans be able to differentiate between themselves and the dead and also gives a slight remnant of humanity to the zombies, 3) the film has good story and character development that I see potential in it becoming a larger film, and 4) did I mention the black girl, who is the hero of the story, although it does end tragically, and I wonder what happens next for her character.

The collective, HowDoYouSayYamInAfrican‘s behind-the-scenes video of their film, Good Stock on the Dimension Floor: An Opera, which is “reimagining the traditional opera to pose a central question: “What happens to the black body when it is haunted by a ‘blackness’ outside of it?” The spoken, chanted, sung, and screamed libretto explores the consequences of centuries of global racial strife that are thrust upon on those born of African descent.” The film will be showing at the Whitney Museum of Art from May 14th-25th.


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Moving on the Wires: This Week’s News and Posts

*Please DONATE to the blog! Any amount will be appreciated! Either click the donate button on the side or send donations via paypal to my email svfreebird87@gmail.com. Thank you!

*On May 10th in Philadelphia, the Future Weird film series is partnering with The Afrofuturist Affair for a movie night featuring their two film screenings, “Visions of Excess” and “In Search of Black Atlantis.”

*“Why Sci-Fi Keeps Imagining the Subjugation of White People” on The Atlantic: “As much as the genre imagines the future, it also remixes the past—often by envisioning Western-style imperialism visited on the Western world.”

*”Towards an Afrofuturist Narrative: Tech, Mythology and the Africas” on Model View Culture:” “Behind-the-scenes with stealth startup Curatoric, and conversations with creators, historians and curators of African and Diasporic African art.” Curatoric will open this spring.

*Star Trek actress Nichelle Nichols talks with Janelle Monae about her role as Uhura:

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Art of This World: Margaret Rose Vendryes

I was walking around Jamaica Avenue in Queens, New York the other night and came across an outdoor art installation featuring work from Margaret Rose VendryesAfrican Diva Project and work from Dominique Sindayiganza’Roots Project. Vendreyes had previously showed her work in an exhibition at the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning in February where she debuted her latest piece from the Side B of the project, “Punu Janelle.” According to Tucker Contemporary Art, “The exhibition is a series of famed album covers by iconic Black female divas redesigned and re-imagined to question the role of race and gender in contemporary Black communities.” Vendryes adds, ” I give these dynamic female performers agency and protection replacing their psychological mask with a literal one.  Songs… messages that once rose out of vinyl channels, like black magic, are inscribed in the space that surrounds them.” The outdoor instillation will be on display until September. I quickly took a few pictures of Vendryes’ work and posted them below (click on the images to see them larger):

Malinke Shirley
Malinke Shirley
Izzi Nancy
Izzi Nancy
Sowei RuPaul
Sowei RuPaul

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The My-Stery: Top Reasons I Want to Go to Blogging While Brown

Brief break from regular programming:

Last year, I went to Blogging While Brown conference and I learned a lot. In fact, I am still learning a lot from the conference, following their facebook and twitter. So since the conference will be in New York City again on June 27th-28th, I will definitely like to go again.

1) To be re-inspired: There are times when writers and bloggers feel less motivated to continue blogging. Conferences like this give us a chance to meet and see other writers and bloggers who understand what you go through, form new connections, and get new inspiration for posts and how to build up your blog.

2) A refresher course: Since I am relatively new to blogging on my specific blog platform and all the tools and information related to blogging, it is easy to forget that information between the times of the conference, coming up with posts and doing other activities of daily life. The conference is a good way to remind me of all that information as well as learn new information.

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Moving on the Wires: This Week’s News and Posts

*Please DONATE to my blog! Any amount will be appreciated! Either click the donate button on the side panel of the blog or send them via paypal to my email svfreebird87@gmail.com. Thank you!

*Dreamworks (I just saw their film, Rio 2, by the way and I did enjoy it. I also saw the preview short for this upcoming movie) is producing a movie, Home, that will feature a black female character, Tip, in the lead and she will be voiced by Rihanna. So, I will definitely be seeing this and I guess it is safe to say the character is Afro-Caribbean! Yay! Here is the synopsis:

“When Earth is taken over by the overly-confident Boov, an alien race in search of a new place to call home, all humans are promptly relocated, while the Boov get busy efficiently reorganizing the planet. But when one resourceful girl, Tip, (Rihanna) manages to avoid capture, she finds herself the accidental accomplice of a banished Boov by the name of Oh (Jim Parsons). Equally stubborn and set in their ways, these two fugitives realize there’s a lot more at stake than intergalactic relations as they embark on the road trip of a lifetime. Good thing they have a flying car.”

*Tonight Black Girl Nerds featured The Afrofuturist Affair‘s Rasheedah Phillips on their podcast.

*Kiplyn Primus and The Local Take on WCLK deidcated their program to The Octavia Butler Celebration of Fantastic Arts Symposium on Art and Activism event on April 16th. Tananarive Due, Adrienne Maree Brown and Dream Hampton join the “discussion about Afro Futurism, science fiction and fantasy, and the role of African Americans in fiction and in art.” Here is the broadcast. Also, you can watch some videos from the event here.

*Daniel Jose Older’s post, “Diversity Is Not Enough: Race, Power, Publishing:” ““The publishing industry looks a lot like these best-selling teenage dystopias: white and full of people destroying each other to survive.”

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Modern Griots Reviews: CCCADI’s The Goddess Grove

Osun Grove Source: UNESCO

In many of today’s cultures and societies, feminine power and energy is not considered as important enough to be celebrated. Almost in every part, including in religion and spirituality, it is demoted in status and seen as a ridiculous notion. I remember sitting in a Pentecostal church one time listening to the sermon of a female pastor who openly praised Father God but found the idea of Mother Nature or Mother God to be absurd. Why is it that we can have a Father God, a son who is a savior, but the mother’s role is either erased in the role of the Holy Spirit or reduced to a human in the form of the Virgin Mary.

Fortunately, there are still spaces that celebrate and honor the sacredness of feminine power and energy. Last Wednesday, I went to a sold-out event (proving the thirst still for this appreciation), the Caribbean Cultural Center‘s The Goddess Grove presenting the premiere of Jamel Cherry‘s documentary Odun/Osun: The Return to the Water about the Orisha goddess Osun (Oshun).  The film featured footage from a tour of the Osun Grove and the annual Osun festival in Oshogbo, Nigeria as well as the history, myths and mythological importance, and the socio-cultural importance of figure Osun.

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Modern Griots Reviews: MoonDance at PS1

Fhoston Paradigm

Many go to church on Sundays for inspirational music and message, but last Sunday I was at the Moondance event at MOMA’s PS1 in Queens for them. Organized by DJ King Britt, the event, which took place in tent dome, featured several DJs, several musical performances, poetry and a discussion on Afrofuturism. The afrofuturistic event was filled with the interplay between fragments of past and future — D. Sabela Grimes dance performance consisting of an alien-like yet ghostly kind of ritual masquerade, soul and electronic music (“my soul system”), and cultural black performance and language with futuristic wording; DJs Hank Shocklee (of Public Enemy), HPrizm, Ras G, King Britt and Fhoston Paradigm pulling from a vast array of musical sounds to quilt together new works and Shabazz Palaces‘ combination of electronic and acoustic drum sounds; Ursula Rucker‘s Black Arts Movement-inspired word mysticism brought together social issues like the death of Trayvon Martin, honoring Amiri Baraka, and connecting spiritual hymns and sexuality.

This was all reinforced in the panel discussion moderated by Afrofuturism author Ytasha Womack, and included Britt, Rucker, Shocklee and Alondra Nelson. Womack described Afrofuturism as where the future meets the past; it facilitates that healing where we feel may have been a break between the two in modern culture. She continued by asking about the notion of race as technology and how afrofuturism is a tool to deconstruct race, how afrofuturism cultivates imagination to transcend circumstance especially in marginalized communities where imagination is under attack and how music is a gateway to understanding afrofuturism.

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